Vietnam: Declassified

Articles 1945 ‘Britain’s secret wars’ (Ian Cobain, Guardian, 8 September 2016) US war, 1960s Mark Curtis, The US war in Vietnam, 1961-73 (Extract from Unpeople, 2004) ‘Britain, Vietnam and the Special Relationship’ (History Today, 12 December 2013) ‘A Jungle Too Far: Britain and the Vietnam War’ (National Army Museum, 6 December 2012)   Other ‘Margaret […]

FCO, Planning Staff draft paper, ‘British objectives and priorities in Africa South of the Sahara, 1976-80’, November 1975

“Traditionally, from the days of trade in slaves and ivory, Africa has supplied natural products to Europe and received finished goods in exchange”. New UK investment in Sub-Saharan Africa was £148.1m or 9.1% of all overseas investment in 1973 – of that, 5.4% was to South Africa. Total stock of UK investment in SSA in […]

R.Wilding, Treasury, draft paper, ‘Flexibility in the national economy in relation to defence and allied expenditure’, 13 October 1959

Paper for the Future Policy study. “We cannot but security or prosperity by investing money in soldiers or in trade promotion and it is not necessarily true that the more we spend on either, the safer and richer we shall be. Both our security and our prosperity depend rather upon the existence of a favourable […]

Steering Committee of the Future Policy Group, ‘The future of Anglo-American relations’, Draft, October 1959

“For the last yeo [sic] years Anglo-American relations have been extremely good. We have succeeded in consolidating and extending our position as the first ally of the United States and the coordination of policy between the two governments has never been so far-reaching and satisfactory. As long as this situation continues, the basis of our […]

British foreign policy, ‘The scope for change’, 1974

J.Cable to staff in PUS Planning Committee, 12 February 1974 Cover note attaching a report: “British Foreign Policy: the scope for change”. Notes that the FCO Planning Staff have produced this paper “as a basis for discussion by the Planning Committee of the changes that might have to be made in British foreign policy to […]

UK foreign policy (general): Declassified

These declassified files on general aspects of UK foreign policy highlight the UK’s actual interests as perceived by planners, reasons for special relations with the US and attitudes towards ‘development’ and the United Nations,among other policies. Documents Foreign Office, ‘British foreign policy: Opportunities and dangers’, 1975 Foreign Office, ‘The New International Economic Order’, 1975 Foreign […]

H.W.King, FCO, to FCO Planning Staff, 1969

H.W.King, UN Department, FCO, to Mr Powell, FCO Planning Staff, 16 October 1969 “The overwhelming consensus of advice of posts in countries where we have significant UK interests…is that our attitude at the UN, at least on economic and social issues…has little relevance to our bilateral relations or to our influence with governments…In default of […]

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to FCO, 1969

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to Percy Cradock, FCO Planning Staff, 4 November 1969 “We should accept that we have now become separated in terms of real power from two of the four permanent members of the security council (the United States and the Soviet Union) and that we should adapt ourselves to the […]

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy’, 1970

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy: A memorandum by officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’, 29 June 1970 “It will be important to ensure that, as Western Europe develops, it retains a close partnership with the United States. We shall wish to keep our special links with the United […]

Foreign Office, ‘Potential problems in British foreign policy’, 1974

J.Cable, Foreign Office, to All heads of geographical departments, 15 January 1974 Encloses a paper entitled “Potential problems in British foreign policy”, January 1974. In a section on “types of problem”, five are listed. One is “threats to economic activity, eg, through restrictions on raw material supplies or shipping, the power of multinational corporations or […]